Queen of Shadows in the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.

It was ancient, and cruel, and paced in the shadows leashing his mind. It was not of this world, and had been brought here to fill him with its primordial cold.

I don’t think this series needs much introduction. If you’ve not read Throne of Glass yet, go and get yourself a copy now. I think it has been the driving force in more and more accessible epic fantasy for those who are wary of grimdark. Since its initial arrival on the scene, we’ve seen more and more otherworld fantasy with lead female characters who are more than just queens and daughters and victims.

Aelin, formerly Celaena Sardothien, has come a long way since we first met her in the mines of Endovier. She has unleashed her magic in the lands beyond the King’s reach but must return to Rifthold where magic is still trapped. There is one man who claims to know how to free it, the downside that it is Chaol, once her love but an irreparable chasm now exists between them. If he thinks her a monster without her powers, what could she be capable of with them?

I liked the darker side of this instalment. Previously left with a cliffhanger ending, we know that Dorian is suffering a fate worth than death, trapped in his own body. The Valg are a sinister enemy, and those who invite them into their hosts are despicable. Not to mention some of the horrors that occur in the depths of Morath.

I managed to read Heir of Fire without quite grasping that the Ironteeth witches are the enemy. I was so caught up in Manon and Abraxos’ personal story arc, I never placed them in the world as a whole. So the witches are working for Duke Perrington, who is up to some dark and evil plans with the Valg. Manon is only following orders but she is starting to question some of the things they do. Manon is such a strong and complex character, I hope she plays a big part in the future to come.

I wasn’t so keen on the romance aspect this time. The storyline has rather burnt bridges with Chaol, which is disappointing but I accept that characters don’t always end up with the ones we want them to. Given their hostility to each other, romantic reconciliation will be a bit of a stretch. There was an excessive amount of territorial posturing from Rowan and Aedion, which bored me a little. Aelin doesn’t need possessive men to look after her and it made her seem like an object to be fought over.

There’s no cliffhanger this time. It felt like a conclusion of sorts, but there’s plenty left to explore in this world, and certainly more challenges to come.

Queen of Shadows is published by Bloomsbury and is available now in paperback and ebook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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Also reviewed @ Tea in the Treetops

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.